I’ll abstain from dumping another I want to see these things go away in 2016 post on the internet because they seem negative and bossy. I prefer focusing on accomplishments from the previous year followed by reflecting on goals for self-improvement.
Self-improvement is a lifelong process best fostered all year round. However, there is something about New Year’s Day that provides the extra push to commit when our busy lives muddle up last year’s goals.
Everyone’s goals are unique. I’ve enjoyed reading my favorite bloggers’ ideas on improving their own 2016 as it helped provoke self-reflection. I limit new year resolutions to one per year. Why? Because I won’t hold myself accountable for more than one. It’s too daunting for me. Why set myself up for a failure to start the new year?
My resolution for 2016: stop keeping a tally. You’re thinking what the hell does that mean? One shitty habit I developed since becoming a mother is occasionally competing with my husband on who sacrifices more for the family.
It sounds ridiculous but I’m not alone. I know many couples with children who get pissed when one spouse gets a business trip; envy one spouse’s career outside the home; affirm one spouse parents more than the other; or view one spouse as having more free time, etc. It’s not healthy and will negatively impact your marriage/hinder your own happiness.
Intellectually I know my husband works just as hard for the family as I do. He’s an incredibly hands-on husband and father. He goes above and beyond for our family. On many days he works much harder than I do!
I didn’t have the greatest experience with pregnancy and/or labor. Since these events I’ve developed some resentment toward my husband (even though it wasn’t his idea to have women do all the birthing).
We want three children, if blessed, I’ll go through the pregnancy/child-birth/breastfeeding cycle a couple more times. I store this in the back of my mind so on a rainy day when something frustrates me, he forgot to empty the diaper pail, I think “do I have to fucking do everything??” I know, it’s unfair.
I’m an amazing wife/mother. My husband is an amazing husband/father. Sometimes during the stress of starting a family you get caught up in who sacrifices more thought process and I’ve admittedly joined that club.
It’s not my husband’s fault we can’t switch off the next time someone has to give birth. There are many aspects of pregnancy I love but it’s a ton of pressure!
At times it’s only natural to take note of all the steakhouses where you ordered a super well-done steak. Ugh. The NYEs, weddings, and vacations where he sipped a delicious looking cocktail. Or times you endured pain/sickness without medication since there weren’t pregnancy-safe options. Not to mention the labor and breastfeeding. All aspects are well worth it but still feel heroic at the time.
As a stay-at-home mom there are rough days when I think please don’t complain about leaving the house and going to work. I never want to be that resentful stay-at-mom/wife who makes statements like “I gave up my hopes and dreams so I could stay home and raise the children.” If my dream wasn’t to stay-at-home with my kids I would get a job. If I ever start feeling unfulfilled as a full-time stay-at-home mom, I’ll go to work.
I love staying at home with our son. Some days it’s a lot harder than an office job. Au contraire there are some days my husband works a lot harder than me. These days I’m sure he’d love to stay home with Nate while I drive to work exhausted and deal with bosses/coworkers.
The point: my husband and I make daily sacrifices for our family in different ways. On days when it seems like my sacrifices are more burdensome, I’ll work hard to avoid the temptation to compare or tally.
I promise to start eliminating my comparisons of responsibilities. It’s natural to feel envious when I’m pushing out a 7 lb baby while my husband drinks a coffee. In those moments I’ll try to remember I do these things because it’s a tiny price to pay for the endless gifts our son has already given me. I will pay more attention to how hard my husband works for our family even on my most challenging days.
Starting our family has been a taxing/rewarding part of our marriage. Both partners have to give up a lot of luxuries and make many sacrifices to fulfill the blessing of a happy family. Sometimes you turn on each other and think “she gets to stay in sweatpants while I drive to work in the snow” or “he gets to eat at a restaurant during a business lunch while I wipe smashed pees off my face.” Kids are a shit ton of work for every parent involved.
Therefore in 2016 I plan to let go of the little one-sided competition I sometimes keep with my husband. I’ll remember on days when it sucks staying at home, it’s equally shitty during a bad day at the office (I remember those). We both happily make trade-offs for our family. I’ll consider it a blessing if I can sacrifice again (in the form of another pregnancy) in the future.
In the end everything evens out. There is no need for a tally on who sacrifices more or works harder. I resolve to tally less, appreciate more, and thank my husband everyday. In 2016 I will always remember that my husband is my team not my competition. What is your resolution?
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